These easy scallop recipes to make impressive meals everyone will enjoy! Scallops are a quick way to a fancy dinner.
Looking for an easy and elegant way to dinner? Think scallops! This tender, buttery mollusk has a sweet, mild flavor that pleases just about anyone. They’re perfect for impressing guests at a dinner party, or for a romantic dinner for two. Scallops can be a little tricky to perfect, so you’ve got to have a great recipe. So here are our top scallop recipes! Along with recipes from this website, we’ve included selections from expert recipe writers Lindsay Ostrom of Pinch of Yum, Holly Nilsson of Spend with Pennies, and Jessica Merchant of How Sweet Eats.
And now…12 easy scallop recipes to try!
Here’s how to make restaurant style scallops at home: easy Pan Seared Scallops! Scallops have a beautiful, mild sweet flavor that’s easy to love: and there’s nothing better than that perfect seared crispy outside. Scallops are easy to cook, but they’re tricky to get right. It takes a little know how to get that golden brown crust without under cooking or overcooking them.
Here’s a stunning scallop recipe that’s elegantly easy to whip up: Scallop Pasta! Whether you want to impress dinner guests, have a romantic dinner, or just feed your family on a weeknight: this recipe is the perfect fit. The seared scallops are sweet, buttery and delicate, set atop tender pasta and accented with flavors of lemon, garlic and herbs.
Are you a scallops lover? Then stop right there and make these grilled scallops! They come out incredibly tender and full of flavor, no special seasonings required. Grilling scallops is much easier than searing them in a pan: you don’t have to worry about how hot the pan is or getting an even crisp crust. Nope, just pop them on the grill and in 5 minutes they’re juicy and ready to eat.
Looking for an easy and delicious sauce for scallops? Have we got one for you. Try this Lemon Herb Sauce! It’s full of tangy, garlicky flavor and makes scallops taste infinitely better. That’s saying something, because seared scallops taste pretty darn amazing on their own. This pairs perfectly with the Pan Seared Scallops above.
This traditional Spanish rice dish has thousands of variations. but it’s always rice with an explosion of colorful toppings. It stars saffron-scented rice, mixed colorful vegetables and seafood, and it’s full of traditional flavor. Substitute scallops for the shrimp and cook it using the Pan Seared Scallops method before adding it to the paella.
Brown Butter Scallops
These brown brown butter scallops feel like a restaurant meal, served atop creamy Parmesan risotto with a bed of garlic sautéed greens. The brown butter gets drizzled all up on top of everything, coating everything in a rich, nutty flavor. Via Pinch of Yum
Green Curry Scallops with Mango Cilantro Salsa
Here's a unique scallop recipe with zingy fresh flavors: Green Curry Scallops! This easy recipe pairs all the best contrasts: bright lime, cool cilantro, and green coconut curry is the perfect antidote to tender, sweet, buttery scallops and fresh mango salsa. via Pinch of Yum
Bacon Wrapped Scallops
Bacon wrapped scallops work as a stunning appetizer or a main dish. Make them on the grill, broiled, or in the air fryer! The scallops are cooked in a light garlic butter sauce, the bacon adds a smoky salty flavor and the scallops come out perfectly tender.
Scallops in Lemon Wine Sauce
Scallops in lemon wine sauce might sound fancy, but it makes for a dinner in about 15 minutes! Scallops are so fast fast and easy to make, and make for an elegant dinner. This one-pan meal keeps kitchen clean-up to a minimum. Via Spend with Pennies
Creamy Seafood Chowder with Scallops
This rich, creamy Seafood Chowder is cozy and ready in about 30 minutes. Combine tender shrimp, fish and scallops in a creamy white wine broth with veggies. It's comfort food that you can easily whip up any day of the week. via Spend with Pennies
Garlic Butter Scallops with Fruity Salsa
These rich, tender garlic butter scallops are ideal served with a fresh fruity salsa! Top them in the refreshing watermelon salsa specified in the recipe, or substitute Pineapple Salsa or Mango Salsa if melon is not in season. Sweet and spicy salsa pairs perfectly with buttery scallops! Via How Sweet Eats
Tender scallops and creamy risotto make the best combination! This cozy bowl is loaded with champagne risotto, topped with brown butter herb scallops. Drizzle with an extra spoonful of brown butter to take it over the top. Via How Sweet Eats
What type of scallops to buy
What type of scallops to buy for these scallop recipes? There are several options you’ll see at the store: here’s the scoop:
- Look for sea scallops (not bay scallops)! Sea scallops are the variety used in all of these recipes; they’re large and tender. Avoid bay scallops: they very small and mainly used in stews.
- Fresh vs frozen scallops: You can use either! Many frozen scallops are wet, but our method has a secret step that allows you to use either.
- Wet scallops vs dry scallops: Wet scallops are treated with water and sodium tripolyphosphate and then frozen, which can give them a soapy taste and bouncy texture (read more). Buy dry scallops if you see it market on the package (not all scallops are marked). You also can freshen wet scallops using a trick! Go to our Seared Scallops recipe.
- Wild caught vs farmed: Seafood that is wild caught in your country is usually a sustainable choice. There are also quality options in well-regulated farms; see Seafood Watch Consumer Guide.
12 Easy Scallop Recipes: Seared Scallops & More!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
Here are the tricks to how to cook pan seared scallops and get that perfect brown crust! Follow these simple tips for a fast and easy dinner.
- 1 pound sea scallops, thawed if frozen
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Thaw the scallops, if frozen (see above).
- Brine the scallops: In a shallow dish, mix together 4 cups room temperature water and 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Place the scallops in the water and wait for 10 minutes.
- Remove the scallops and dry thoroughly. Lightly season with a several pinches kosher salt.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. If using a medium skillet, cook the scallops in two batches. Once the oil is hot, add the scallops and cook without turning for 2 to 3 minutes, until an even brown crust clearly forms on bottom.
- Flip scallops with tongs. Cook additional 2 to 3 minutes on the other side, until a crust just forms on bottom and the center of the scallop is almost opaque.
- Turn off the heat and add the butter. When it melts, spoon the melted butter over the scallops and serve with a squeeze of lemon. Or, go to Lemon Herb Scallop Sauce to make a 2 minute pan sauce.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Seared
- Cuisine: Seafood
- Diet: Gluten Free
Keywords: Scallop recipes
Let us know if you have any questions!
Our approximation of Scallops Provencal at L’Auberge Chez François (Washington DC area).
Provencal tomato sauce or marinara
Add lots of garlic and cook until the garlic mellows.
Use lots of sauce
Nice list. Then I read that you should avoid bay scallops. Nantucket Bay scallops are just about the best scallops ever. You should try them.
It is true that they are not amenable to these recipes.
I agree Bruce! Sauteed with shallots, white wine, lemon, and butter — there isn’t anything that’s much better.
I made this today and it was fabulous. Especially since my daughter and her husband harvested the scallops themselves! Served with cheddar broccoli bake, and it was like a restaurant meal!